Good evening, welcome to my coverage of top four chasing Manchester United taking on relegation threatened Newcastle United at Old Trafford. Ross Bray reports.
Man United come into this match on the back of a convincing win midweek against Real Sociedad, with Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Daniel James on the scoresheet. However, they will be looking to reinvent their Premier League form after a 1-1 draw against West Brom. Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer has said that “We’re going to go for a win in every single game we play.” as they chase runaway leaders Manchester City, whom are 13 points clear as of kick-off.
It is a very different story at Newcastle however; sitting 17th in the table, with Fulham only 3 points adrift of Steve Bruce’s side. A win at Old Trafford will see this gap rise to 6 points. They come into this game after losing 2-0 to a resurgent Chelsea, looking to bounce back with a first win at Old Trafford since 2013.
1′ – Kick Off!
3′ – First chance for Marcus Rashford to run at Emil Krafth but the Newcastle defender manages to see the ball out for a goal kick.
5′ – Great Save! – David De Gea punches the ball over the crossbar from a Joelinton volley.
7′ – Newcastle have started the better team so far; closing Man United down well not allowing them any space.Embed from Getty Images
11′ – De Gea gifts Joelinton the ball and lays it off to Jonjo Shelvey whose shot is high and wide.
14′ – Krafth is down after colliding with Luke Shaw. The referee having a word with Shaw but no card shown.
18′ – After a sustained period of Newcastle possession, Jamaal Lascelles plays a long ball which Harry Maguire wins in the air. Newcastle showing a bit more impetus so far but do not have the goal to show for it.
23′ – Nemanja Matic switches the play to find James who cuts inside but the shot is blocked.
30′ – GOAL – Manchester United 1-0 Newcastle United (Marcus Rashford)
Rashford fires United ahead with a fantastic run down the left hand side, sliding the ball through Krafth’s legs and driving the ball into the near post, brilliant solo goal.
34′ – Allan Saint-Maximin receives the ball one-on-one against Aaron Wan-Bissaka and cuts in to fire a shot at De Gea but he tips it over.
36′- GOAL – Manchester United 1-1 Newcastle United (Allan Saint-Maximin)
Beautiful strike by Saint-Maximin just outside the six yard box. The short corner is whipped in and Maguire heads it straight to Saint-Maximin. After a good first touch he smashes it into the roof of the net to equalise.
38′ – Yellow Card – Isaac Hayden is booked after a shoving match with Fernandes.
39′ – Yellow Card – Joelinton is now booked after a challenge on Shaw.
43 – Miguel Almiron runs down the right hand side but Maguire and Shaw squeeze him out of possession.
Half Time – Manchester United 1-1 Newcastle United.
With the game level, Bruce will be the happier manager with his side level. They pressed Man United well and had a few chances of their own, one of which was taken by Saint-Maximin. For Solsjkaer, however, he will be disappointed that his team have not moved the ball quickly to open Newcastle up. Perhaps changes early the second half are needed to get the win they need.
45′ – Second Half – No changes made by either manager.
47′ – Free kick whipped in is headed faintly by Maguire but still evades the Newcastle. They work the ball around but Shelvey blasts a speculative shot way over.Embed from Getty Images
49′ – Saint-Maximin goes on a fantastic run, weaving in and out between James and Wan Bissaka but the ball goes out for a goal kick.
50′ – Saint-Maximin is having a huge influence on Newcastle going forward, now finding enough space on the edge of the box to fire a shot which De Gea holds.
54′ – United are really missing that cutting edge so far, watching the start the of this second half, there have been numerous misplaced passes and loose first touches. They really need to show more urgency if they want anything out of this game.
55′ – Substitution – Ryan Fraser is on for Joelinton who has been battling an injury for a large part of this match.
Which is evident as he heads straight down the tunnel.
57′ – GOAL – Manchester United 2-1 Newcastle United (Daniel James)
United back ahead! As I talk about needing more urgency, Matic makes the driving square pass which Fernandes gets a toe too, finding James to slot it home past Karl Darlow, 2-1.
60′ – Chance – Anthony Martial has had a quiet game so far but he springs into life here. Receiving the ball under pressure, he spins past Ciaran Clark down the right of the 18 yard box and fires a shot to sting the palms of Darlow.
64′ – Nice play from Rashford as he cuts inside with a shot straight at Darlow. He’s looked the most lively in a lacklustre Man United attack, despite being ahead.
66′ – Better from United as Fernandes links up with Fred high up the pitch and he slips in James who just takes a second too long to find someone in the box as his pass was blocked.
68′ – Newcastle’s turn to attack, as Fraser’s speculative shot from 25 yards out is held easily by De Gea.
69′ – Another poor pass from Martial which Wan Bissaka tries to retrive but concedes a foul.
Unsurprisingly, this is Martial’s last contribution.
70′ – Substitution – Martial is replaced By Mason Greenwood, with Solsjkaer looking to seal the game off.
74′ – PENALTY – Man United win a penalty as Rashford cleverly turned away from Joe Willock as he takes him down, Fernandes is going to take his accustomed penalty.
75′ – GOAL – Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle United (Bruno Fernandes)
Calm, collected penalty from Fernandes, against the man who saved a penalty against him earlier in the season.Embed from Getty Images
77′ – Substitution – Bruce freshes things up as Jacob Murphy is on for Saint-Maximin, whom has had a great game down the Newcastle left.
79′ – Substitution – Final Newcastle change as Dwight Gayle is on for Almiron. Damage limitation will be the message from Bruce for the remainder of the match.
81′ – Greenwood showing intent as he lays a quick ball to James down the right and his cross is deflected over for a corner.
A succession of corners resulting in Maguire heading just wide of the post.
86′ – A fantastic run by Shaw down the left byline as his low ball evades everyone. Greenwood picks it up but fails to work a shot.
88′ – Double substitution – Solsjkaer gives a debut for 17 year old Shola Shoretire as he comes on for Rashford. Juan Mata is also on for James.
It is a shame that Shoretire couldn’t be welcomed by a packed Old Trafford, nevertheless a fantastic moment for him and his family to make his debut.
93′ – Newcastle with a late flurry forward but Murphy’s cross is way too hard as Shelvey has to run to pick up. A disappointing result for Newcastle but Bruce will be looking ahead to games against Wolves and West Brom to try get themselves away from the relegation area.
Full Time – Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle United.
A good day at the office for Solsjkaer’s men as they get the three points they needed to cement their top 4 aspirations and they remain closest challengers to Manchester City. They didn’t play particularly well but the mercurial talent of Rashford, Fernandes and James eased them away from Newcastle, who ultimately didn’t show enough.
Bruce will be pleased with the performance as they pressed United well for most of the game. Perhaps fatigue kicked in at the end where United’s quality prevailed. As I said, Bruce will be looking forward to more winnable games against West Brom and Wolves to ease away from the relegation zone.